Various Shado Electro

Italy’s peculiar Shado Records is known for their eclectic mix of electronic music and abstract art pop, and this compilation is no exception. At the helm of Shado Electro are Maurizio Arcieri and Christine Moser, who have been working together under the name Krisma for over 25 years, hooking up along the way with mega-stars like Hans Zimmer and Vangelis. In recent years, the duo have migrated to the production side, working with Italian television and the local electronic music scene. Here they pull together some of Shado’s brightest stars, mixing them in with a few of their own tracks from the 1977-80 era. A couple of them are almost comically bad, but others are impressive, given their age. Including your own archive material is a rather selfish move, but an interesting one because their own tracks blend in quite well with the current material. At the very least it serves as a good historical point of reference. The new material is a somewhat standard desert tray of electro, with some nice moments provided by Valvola on "Teenage Power” and "Space Tug.” Electronicat’s "City Moving” is a deep, dark and spooky anthem, and Pine*AM’s "Flashing Light” also stands out, in particular for the blatant rip-off of New Order’s "Blue Monday” beat structure. Many of these tracks are edging more towards electronic pop thanks to the use of proper vocals, and thankfully they are done somewhat seriously and in tune, as opposed to just deadpan reciting or shouting. A strange, occasionally confusing compilation, but one that does merit closer inspection. (S.H.A.D.O.)